poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “mortality”

like a tulip or a monarch

skyscrapers rise & fall
no thanks to mere mortals
able to destroy that which they build
like a flawed god
constantly seeking attention

the gradual unfolding of a field
exposing all that is real
be it friend or flora or foe
young & old bones alike
buried so far below

bricks build these roads
one on top of another
a city layered in storied centuries
living & dying & born again
like a tulip or a monarch

september two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

answering the false call

sirens sounded
the crows & ravens took off from their stations
carrying messages of survival in their dna

one arrived on my fence post
half a day after the warning
sturdy & stoic & talking in a language
only I would understand

of course he arrived prematurely
this much he knew
for the skies became more colorful
allowing me to admire the varying
degrees of darkness in his wings

within the hour he departed on his
own accord
probably to where the water was rising
leaving me to my one device
and my mixed emotions

september two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

from the kitchen window

new blooms move with the arc
of the perennial sun
stretching their necks
& blinking their eyes
wide open to brand new ideas

the earth has become
more than an orbiting sphere
to mere mortals
a linear timeline from pre-fossil
to garden of eden
babylon to peloponnese
old paris to present day chicago

flower window boxes
simplistically shows how far
we’ve actually come
artistically covering the atrocities
of past & present & future
watering hope & possibility
right here from the kitchen window

june two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the villain and the hero and the unsympathetic fool

accusations fly by like wayward missiles
shot out of silos a half world away
landing god knows where and
making new holes to crawl into

there is no villain to kill in this tale
not one tying down fair damsels to the tracks
nor cloaking a wide smile with black cape

the hero here is incapable of rescuing even himself
instead seeks answers from faraway stars
like a prince without an inheritance

while remote weaponry circles the earth
the unsympathetic fool carries on
in an unforgiving world
deflecting whatever arrows brand his name
with an invisible shield called mortality

april fool’s day two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

make-believe worlds

who are we but pretend gods
unable to tame the time of day
huddled en masse on street
corners and freeways
and white-hot beaches
putting out fires and chasing
running away from tsunamis and
disease and ghostly dreams
practicing ego and yoga and war
and the finest of arts
orchestrating chaos by day and
reciting poetry at night
calling for real gods in a pretend
world to somehow set us free

november two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

don’t let the clowns scare you

in the clouds the clowns
perform with their balloons
and wacky flowers
and superlative feet
making the children laugh and cry
leaving them wondering
why this world
is such a mysterious place

in the cloud memories
are stored so the children
can recall those days
of carelessness and glee
before forced into figuring out
how the clowns managed to
make this world
seemingly unforgettable

july two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

to catch a soul

I am trapped inside this virtual
world where judgments
are issued without warrant
and disenchanted encoders
sip on encrypted whiskey
while laughing silently

without notice shots of pain
stream down the sciatica river
where boys sit on rocks
and pretend to fish
with artificial bait
waiting to steal my soul

june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


faces of friend and foe
come and go
but i must live on
using my own eyes
to scan the universe
and examine my soul

i hear of things
both good and bad
from those i think i know
but i am not to judge
what is not mine
for i must deal
with eternity
on my own terms

i imagine what happens
in three dimensions
will take on new meaning
once riding my pale horse
off into the sunset

september two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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